To contribute towards revitalized, quality, relevant, and harmonized education systems responsive to the needs of Africa, taking into account Africa’s aspiration and capacity in terms of human and material resources; systems that produce Africans with appropriate attitudes, values, knowledge and skills to facilitate attainment of the AU vision; systems that generate applied and new knowledge and contribute towards its harnessing for meeting Africa’s challenges as well as placing Africa firmly within the core of the global knowledge economy
Mandates and Core Functions:
o Development and harmonization of education policies and programs on the continent, towards achievement of the AU vision
o Spearhead the revitalization of education systems
o Develop and Manage Continental Education Management Information Systems linked to regional and national levels providing information for local and international users
o Organize meetings of the relevant Specialized Technical Committee and other political and professional bodies to ensure collective articulation of priorities, ownership and accountability
In line to the Agenda 2063, Education Division is guided by the following strategies:
1. CONTINENTAL EDUCATION STRATEGY FOR AFRICA (CESA 16-25)
The ten year continental education strategy (CESA) presented to the Ministers for adoption is a response to the AU Agenda 2063. It is in line with the Global Education 2030 Programme and contributes to the achievement of objective 4 of the SDGs. CESA 16-25 calls for a paradigm shift towards transformative education and training systems to meet the knowledge, competencies, skills, research, innovation and creativity required to nurture African core values and promote sustainable development.
2. THE CONTINENTAL TVET STRATEGY
The TVET continental strategy provides a comprehensive framework for the design and development of national policies and strategies to address the challenges of education and technical and vocational training to support economic development, creation of national wealth and contribute to poverty reduction through youth entrepreneurship, innovation and employment. It aligns with current global trends and defines a set of indicators for monitoring progress. The Ministers took a guided tour of the TVET exhibition and awarded the top ten African TVET centres that had participated in a pan African competition jointly organised with USAID and FHI360. They also discussed the development of continental frameworks for enhancement of skills portability in line with the 2015 AU Plan of Action on Employment, Poverty Eradication and Inclusive Development
ANNUAL REPORT OF CONTINENTAL ACTIVITIES (RACA)
The Continental Annual Report of Activities (RACA) is a mechanism to facilitate concise reporting on Education and Science, Technology and Innovation activities by all stakeholders, Member States, RECs and Partners, thus providing a snapshot of the progress in implementing the Continental Strategy for Education (CESA), The Continental Strategy for Technical and Vocational Education and Training; and the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024).
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The following institutions and Programs are implemented in Education Division
1. PAN AFRICAN UNIVERSITY (PAU)
The Pan African University (PAU) is the culmination of continental initiatives of the Commission of the African Union to revitalize higher education and research in Africa, under the Second Decade of Education for Africa and the consolidated Plan of Action of Science and Technology for Africa. It will exemplify excellence, enhance the attractiveness and global competitiveness of African higher education and research and establish the African University at the core of Africa’s development. The PAU will greatly boost the population and retention of high level human resources and quality knowledge outputs and be able to attract the best intellectual capacity from all over the world. Africa acknowledges the fact that social and economic development is not possible without substantive investment in higher education and research. The PAU was launched as the African Union (AU) undertook the evaluation of the Second Decade of Education for Africa.
The strategic mission of the PAU is to develop institutions of excellence in science, technology, innovation, social sciences and governance, which would constitute the bedrock for an African pool of higher education and research. This would usher in a new generation of leaders properly trained to take the best advantage of African human and material resources, imbued with the common vision of a peaceful, prosperous and integrated Africa.
The training and research activities of the PAU focus on the following priorities and objectives:
i. To develop continent-wide and world-class graduate and postgraduate programs in science, technology, innovation, humanities, social sciences and governance;
ii. To stimulate collaborative, internationally competitive, cutting-edge, fundamental- and economic- growth-oriented research, in areas having a direct bearing on the scientific, economic and social development of Africa;
iii. To enhance the mobility of students and academic staff among African universities to improve on teaching and collaborative research;
iv. To contribute to the capacity building needs of present and future stakeholders of the African Union;
v. To improve on the attractiveness of African higher education and research institutions to attract and retain talented young professionals on the African continent;
vi. To initiate and invigorate mutually beneficial partnerships with public and private sectors within Africa and the Diaspora as well as internationally; and
vii. To facilitate the emergence and strengthening of an African higher education and research platform.
Thematic and Geographic Scope
The PAU IS an academic network of existing African institutions operating at graduate level, and comprises five Institutes corresponding to the thematic areas:
i. Water and Energy (including climate change), PAUWES, hosted by the University of Tlemcen in Algeria for North Africa
ii. Life and Earth Sciences (including Health and Agriculture), PAULESI, hosted by the University of Ibadan in Nigeria for Western Africa
iii. Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation, PAUSTI, hosted by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya for Eastern Africa
iv. Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences, PAUGHSS, hosted by the University of Yaoundé II in Cameroon for Central Africa
v. Space Sciences, PAUSS, to be hosted by South Africa for Southern Africa
Affiliated to each Institute, there shall be a network of Centres located on the continent working on similar thematic areas. The Centres of the PAU shall be identified following a competitive process.
To carry out its mandate effectively, the PAU may enter into agreements and contracts with governments, international organizations or other relevant partners, for pedagogic, research, management and funding purposes. Hosting Agreements shall be signed between the Commission and the host countries of Institutes and Centres, and Tripartite agreements between AUC, Host Countries and Key Thematic Partners.
PAU Institutes in four of Africa’s five regions are embedded within existing universities of excellence in those regions. They are as follows:
i. The Abou Bekr Belkaid University of Tlemcen, hosting the PAU Institute for Water and Energy Sciences (including Climate Change (PAUWES), in Algeria (Northern Africa)
ii. The University of Ibadan, hosting the PAU Institute for Life and Erath Sciences (including Health and Agriculture, PAULESI), in Nigeria (Western Africa)
iii. The Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology hosting the PAU Istitute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI), in Kenya (Eastern Africa)
iv. The University of Yaounde II, hosting the PAU Institute for Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences (PAUGHSS), in Cameroon (Central Africa)
PAU Masters and PhD Programmes
Programmes offered by the PAU Institute for Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences (PAUGHSS)
• MA Conference Interpreting
• MA Governance and Regional Integration
• MA Trans Border Languages (Kiswahili option)
• MA Translation
• PhD Governance and Regional Integration
Programmes offered by the PAU Institute of Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI)
• MSc. Civil Engineering (Arid and Semi-Arid Land option)
• MSc. Civil Engineering (Structural option)
• MSc. Electrical Engineering) (Power Systems option)
• MSc. Electrical Engineering (Telecommunications option)
• MSc. Mathematics (Computational option)
• MSc. Mathematics (Financial option)
• MSc. Mathematics (Statistics option)
• MSc. Molecular Biology & Biotechnology
• PhD Civil Engineering (Arid and Semi-Arid Land option)
• PhD Civil Engineering (Structural option)
• PhD Electrical Engineering) (Power Systems option)
• PhD Electrical Engineering (Telecommunications option)
• PhD Mathematics (Computational option)
• PhD Mathematics (Financial option)
• PhD Mathematics (Statistics option)
• PhD Molecular Biology & Biotechnology
Programmes offered by the PAU Institute of Life and Earth Sciences (including Health and Agriculture (PAULESI)
• MSc. Environmental Management
• MSc. Geosciences (Mineral Exploration option)
• MSc. Geosciences (Petroleum Geosciences option)
• MSc. Health Sciences (Reproductive Biology option)
• MSc. Health Sciences (Reproductive Health option)
• MSc. Plant Breeding
• PhD Environmental Management
• PhD Geosciences (Mineral Exploration option)
• PhD Geosciences (Petroleum Geosciences option)
• PhD Health Sciences (Reproductive Biology option)
• PhD Health Sciences (Reproductive Health option)
• PhD Plant Breeding
Programmes offered by the PAU Institute for Water and Energy Sciences (including Climate Change (PAUWES)
• MSc. Water (Engineering option)
• MSc. Water (Policy option)
• MSc. Energy (Engineering option)
• MSc. Energy (Policy option)
Common Courses for all PAU Programmes
• History of Africa
• Gender and Human Rights
The PAU is financed through the following sources:
1) Settlement of an Endowment Fund
2) Budgetary resources provided by AUC , Host Countries and Key Thematic Partners:
• AUC : Scholarships for students, mobility and honorarium for Teaching Staff
• Host Country: Infrastructure and Running Costs. The country can mobilize this contribution through a Partner
• Lead Thematic Partner : Support for Equipment, Academic Costs and Research
3) Self-generated income through teaching and research by Institutes and Centers.
PAU Scholarship Grants
PAU offers full scholarships to all students enrolled into its programmes following a competitive admissions process. Calls for scholarship applications are issued and widely disseminated by the Rectorate and students apply online. PAU Institutes establish juries of local, regional and international experts to select students and Institute Boards submit the final list of selected students to the Rectorate. The PAU Senate makes final recommendations on student admission to the PAU Council. Before enrolment, each student signs a scholarship agreement specifying the conditions of the offer and the duties and responsibilities of both parties.
In the scholarship agreement, PAU Students are required to make an undertaking to serve any African Union Member State for a period equal to at least the duration of the scholarship after the successful completion of their studies. Students are obliged not to engage in any income generating activities that will interfere with their academic programmes. Student engagement in income generating activities shall be approved by the PAU Rectorate, only if such activities will not interfere with the student’s academic programme.
The scholarship grant covers the following costs:
1. Tuition fees, paid directly to the relevant PAU institute;
2. A stipend of $750 per month for Masters, and $1,100 for PhD students, to support the student’s living costs including food, housing, utilities, local transportation and medical insurance;
3. Students not permanently resident in the country hosting the institute they are attending are entitled to a single, economy return air ticket for the most direct route between their country/city of permanent residence and the host country/city; and
4. Students permanently resident in the country hosting the institute they are attending are entitled to $100 to cover the cost of their travel.
The PAU Rectorate reserves the right to terminate or suspend the grant if there is compelling evidence that the student has not complied with any of the provisions of the scholarship agreement.
2. PAN AFRICAN INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT (IPED)
Pan-African Institute for Education for Development (IPED, is a specialized institution of the African Union, tasked with the responsibility to function as Africa’s Education Observatory. This is a central role in ensuring quality, responsive, and inclusive education development in Africa based on sound, accurate and timely information, to meet the individual and collective goals for the development of human resources and intellectual capacity in Africa. IPED transformed from the OAU African Bureau for Science and Education (BASE).
Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) presents perhaps the most crucial area of focus in education development in Africa. Robust EMIS is essential for effectual policy development based on sound, accurate, timely and meaningful statistical information. Quality EMIS enables an accurate portrayal and accounting of the education situation that is necessary for good planning and development of appropriate interventions.
AU HRST has facilitated with partners that Regional Economic Communities develop their own regional EMIS Norms and Standards (based on the continental framework) using the expertise of EMIS experts in Member States’ Ministries of Education. To date, SADC, ECOWAS and EAC have adopted their own EMIS Norms and Standards codes of practice and are currently assessing their member states compliance on these frameworks by using peer review by Member States. The AU HRST, with its key technical partner in this area – Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) – undertook an assessment of ECCAS member states EMIS capacities in 2010 and a regional capacity building report was developed in 2011. This foundation needs to feed into an endorsement of best practices by developing agreed norms and standards.
3. AFRICAN UNION- INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR GIRLS AND WOMEN’S EDUCATION IN AFRICA (AU/CIEFFA)
The African Union International Centre for Girls and Women Education in Africa (AU/CIEFFA) is a specialized institution of the AU since 2004, dealing with girls’ and women’s education following Decision Assembly/AU/DEC.44 (III).
A fact-finding mission was organized in February 2015, which had as aim to discuss on the existing agreements between Burkina Faso and the AUC and between Burkina Faso and UNESCO; the status of AU/CIEFFA’s infrastructure; the inventory of the human resources present in the center; its financial situation, the office materials and logistics available, as well as the relationship of the Centre with the Government of Burkina Faso and other partners.
AU/CIEFFA is currently working on case studies in the different regions of the continent on how Member States are integrating Girls and Women’s Education in their national plans. This project is with the collaboration of UNESCO.
A Strategic Plan for AU/CIEFFA 2015-2017 has also been developed. AU/CIEFFA is focusing its policy advocacy efforts on three key strategic priorities for 2015-2017:
a. Legal framework for Rights of girls and women in schools and universities
b. Gender-responsive curricula in schools and universities
c. Retention of girls in schools
4. NYERERE SCHOLARSHIP AND ACADEMIC MOBILITY PROGRAMME
The Nyerere Programme is an umbrella for implementing scholarship and mobility initiatives including the Basic Nyerere Scholarship as well as other initiatives such as the Intra-ACP academic mobility scheme (or Extended Nyerere) within the framework Africa-Europe collaboration; and the Africa-India Fellowship Programme under the Africa-India strategic partnership. The Programme is still open for new partnerships and development of innovative scholarship and academic mobility and collaborative schemes.
The Nyerere programme has the following major objectives.
• Increase the access of talented young men and women to university education in Africa, particularly at post-graduate level;
• Promote intra-African academic mobility and strengthen institutional partnerships towards regional integration and harmonization of higher education and research;
• Improve the quality of higher education by promoting cooperation between tertiary education institutions;
• Establish an influential group of Nyerere Alumni; and
• Contribute to the attractiveness of African Universities and alleviation of brain drain.
Basic Nyerere Scholarship Scheme
The Mwalimu Nyerere African Union Scholarship Scheme was launched in 2007 to contribute to the production and retention of high level African human capital in critical areas for sustainable development of the continent, while promoting regional integration through intra-African mobility of students. The Scholarship Scheme is intended to enable young Africans to study in leading African Universities preferably outside their own countries, with a binding agreement that beneficiaries will work in any African country for two to four years after graduation.
Intra-ACP Academic Mobility Scheme
An expanded Nyerere programme (also called Intra-ACP Academic Mobility Scheme) was developed in 2009 with support from the European Commission. The scheme involves mobility of students and exchange of academic staff among selected Networks of African Universities to strengthen cooperation between higher education institutions across the continent.
The Africa-India Fellowship Programme
The Africa-India Fellowship Programme was started in 2010 to support Agricultural human resource development for African Universities and Research Institutes, through Masters and PhD studies in selected Indian Agricultural Universities.
5. HIGHER EDUCATION PROGRAM
Africa has diverse systems of higher education. This diversity limits recognition of university degrees and certificates, thereby restricting the mobility of students across Africa and hindering African academic integration. The African Union therefore developed a framework for harmonisation of higher education in Africa to facilitate the mutual recognition of academic qualifications. The Harmonization Strategy was endorsed by the third Conference of Ministers of Education of the African Union (COMEDAF III), in 2007.
The African Union Strategy for Harmonisation of Higher Education Programmes comprises the following five major result areas.
• Establishment and Maintenance of Continental Political Commitment to the Process of Harmonization.
• Cooperation in information exchange.
• Development and Maintenance of a Continental Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
• Creation of Minimum Standards in Targeted Qualifications.
• Establishment of Joint Curriculum Development and Student Mobility Schemes.
In implementing the African Union Harmonization Strategy for Higher Education, the AUC is working jointly with UNESCO to facilitate the ratification and implementation of the Addis Convention (revised Arusha Convention) on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and other Academic Qualifications. In ratifying the Convention countries signal their intent to participate in the process and to fulfil requirements to facilitate the implementation of effective harmonisation in higher education across Africa.
In collaboration with the European Commission, a project for developing harmonised university curricula using the European Tuning Approach is underway with participation of over 100 African Universities.
The African Union strategy for harmonisation of higher education has the following goals:
1. Bridge the gap between disparate educational systems in Africa;
2. Provide an integrating platform to develop strong regional harmonization initiatives that cohere into a continental process of harmonization;
3. Advance joint curriculum development and institutional partnerships among African Universities to ensure global competitiveness
4. Facilitate the recognition of academic qualifications and promote the mobility of African students and academic staff across the continent; and
5. Promote the development of effective quality assurance mechanisms
• Implementation Of African Quality Rating Mechanism (AQRM)
Quality assurance of higher education institutions is one core area to revitalizing higher education and research in Africa. The Commission of the African Union therefore spearheaded the development of an African Quality Rating Mechanism (AQRM) to establish an African system that will ensure the performance of higher education institutions can be compared against a set of common criteria and to help the institutions carry out self-evaluation exercises to support the development of institutional cultures of quality.
The AQRM has been developed through extensive dialogue with the African higher education community, including the Association of African Universities. The AQRM was adopted by the Third Conference of Ministers of Education of the African Union (COMEDAF III) in 2007, and validated by stakeholders and partners’ meeting.
The main objectives of the African Quality Rating Mechanism (AQRM) are:
i. To establish an African system that will ensure the performance of higher education institutions can be compared against a set of common criteria, taking into account the context of higher education delivery on the continent as well as international good practices.
ii. To help higher education institutions carry out self-evaluation exercises and support the development of institutional cultures of quality.
iii. To create a system that allows for comparison and improvements in quality of delivery of institutions.
iv. To pave the way for African institutions to be globally competitive, while being locally relevant.
The AQRM allows for classification of institutions and programmes into five categories: ‘poor quality’; ‘insufficient quality; ‘satisfactory quality’; ‘good quality’; and ‘ex-cellent quality’.
The African Quality Rating Mechanism employs specific quality criteria on different focus areas against which higher education institutions can assess their own quality levels and rate themselves through a self-evaluation exercise. A pilot run of AQRM was conducted involving quality experts that carried out evaluation missions and validate the self-ratings of institutions. The AQRM needs to be implemented on full-scale at various universities in collaboration with national and regional quality assurance agencies.
Steps should be taken to ensure that AQRM is adopted by African higher education institutions as one of the mechanisms for assessing and improving quality of higher education. The existence of a quality rating mechanism will support continental endeavours to identify leading African Universities and Centres for Excellence.
• Development Of Pan-African QA And Accreditation Framework
To implement the AU Executive Council Decision on establishing a continental Accreditation Agency for higher education, the African Union Commission has initiated the development of a Pan-African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Framework, in collaboration with the European Commission and the Association of African Universities.
The Pan-African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Framework has the following objectives:
i. To promote partnerships among quality assurance and accreditation bodies across the continent;
ii. To assist the development of national quality assurance bodies in Africa;
iii. To advance good accreditation practices and develop Pan-African quality assurance framework;
iv. To foster development of compatible methodologies and harmonization of accreditation standards in Africa; and
v. To supervise the quality of education provision in the Pan African University.
The creation of continent-wide accreditation body will strengthen cooperation in quality monitoring; development of compatible methodologies; harmonization of procedures; and mutual recognition of academic qualifications. Moreover, the establishment of a Continental Accreditation Agency is vital to guarantee high quality of education provision in the Pan African University and to ensure its international recognition.
A consultative meeting was held in May 2015 with key regional and continental stakeholders to brainstorm and reach a consensus on the process for establishing an African continental accreditation mechanism for higher education. To validate the process for establishing the Pan-African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Framework, a workshop is be held in Accra, Ghana from 29 - 30 July 2015 involving national and regional QA Agencies as well as Ministries of Higher Education across the continent. The validated framework will be instrumental to establish harmonized quality assurance practices across the continent.